Like a lot of languages, in English the written ‘s’ is represented by a sibilant sound. This sound is either voiced or voiceless depending on which word it is used in. The voiced sound is also often represented by a ‘z’.
/s/ = unvoiced alveolar fricative (snake, this, someone)
/z/ = voiced alveolar fricative (these, tom’s, fizz)
There are other similar sounds such as /sh/ and /zh/ which can be difficult to alternate between. The s tongue twisters below will help build flexibility when going between these sounds.
Practise regularly to see improvement in your pronunciation.
Tongue Twister List
1. Some see shootings as something sinister.
2. Sam said she is jealous because she has no salad.
3. Seven glasses of fizzy champagne splashed over the sofa.
4. She should serve the ice cold dessert as soon as possible.
5. Susan’s sock shop has surely stopped selling.
6. Six sausages slowly sizzled in the sun.
7. She shrieked when she saw Jerry’s shirt.
8. Sunshine is sweetest in the summer seasons.
9. Simon shouted abuse at some shepherds.
10. She sells seashells by the seashore but the seashells she sells are not seashells I’m sure.
Now Check Your Pronunciation
Practising these tongue twisters by yourself is great but…
How do you know if you are pronouncing them correctly?
Try a private English lesson and check how your pronunciation is doing to maximize your study time!